Photo: Police Headquarters.
It took a while, but the town and the union representing the cops on the beat have OK’d a new agreement in which Belmont officers receive a wage increase with some concessions – including limited drug testing – on their part.
And in a few months, the two sides will be right back at the bargaining table for another three-year contract.
The Belmont Board of Selectmen voted Monday, Aug. 8 to approve a three-year deal – from July 2014 to June 2017 – between the 31 member Belmont Police Patrolmen’s Organization and the town.
“We’re very happy with the agreement and [the union’s] negotiating team which settled on a very reasonable settlement,” said Belmont Human Resources Director Jessica Porter.
The contract’s highlights include:
- An annual two percent cost-of-living-adjustment which is consistent with other town/union contracts.
- While not random testing, the union agreed to drug and alcohol testing “based upon reasonable suspicion.”
- Newly hired officers as of July 1, will see their health insurance contribution rate go up from 20 percent to 25 percent in exchange for a 25 cents an hour increase n hourly pay.
- The stipend for officers who have associates/bachelors/masters degrees in criminal justice is increased to $5,000/$9,500/$11,000 as long as the officers complete their degrees within three-and-a-half years for graduating from the Police Academy.
- The 12 patrolmen who have reached Master Patrolman status – based on ten years of experience, training, and performance appraisal – will see their differential from the base salary increase from 2 percent to 2.4 percent.
Just after the agreement was signed, Porter said she’d begin the next set of contract negotiations for a three-year agreement soon as this new contract expires this coming June 30. Porter is hopeful the new “new” contract will take less time to negotiate and settle.
“It should be a little smoother for a new contract as we have recently discussed everything that will be on the table,” said Porter.